The Hollywood Reporter put together a dope roundtable full of working actresses and had a candid conversation about sexism in the industry, roles they’d go nude for, the need to love their characters, and off-camera drama.
Included in the discussion were TV and film greats Kerry Washington (Scandal), Sarah Paulson (The People v. O.J. Simpson), Jennifer Lopez (Shades of Blue), Kirsten Dunst (Fargo), Regina King (American Crime), Constance Zimmer (UnREAL), and Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife).
So, what did we leave with after hearing about their trials and tribulations as women trying to make a living as actresses? Assumed diva Jennifer Lopez says she’s anything but “difficult,” regardless of the reputation she’s garnered over the years. Sarah Paulson isn’t here for your criticisms of Marcia Clark, whom she played in the FX series surrounding O.J. Simpson’s ’94-’95 murder trial. Kerry Washington touched on a few topics, including nudity on the Scandal set, being listed as an executive producer on HBO’s Confirmation, and sustaining a 22-episode show. Nothing but tea and gems throughout the whole sit-down.
When asked about “overtly sexist things” experienced in her career, Kerry revealed of Shonda Rhimes and the on-set Scandal dynamic:
“I’m in this very surreal environment right now having Shonda Rhimes as my boss, where it’s almost the opposite. It is specified in scripts that guys take their shirts off all the time.” She continues: “The guys are naked all the time! And she has said to all the women on the show: “You want to do a love scene in a parka? You just let me know.” So it’s this weird, like, reparations moment where the girls get to do what they want to do and the guys get to do what they want to do, but they know what Shonda wants them to do.”
As for Sarah taking up for Marcia Clark, we say she has a point. She said this of Jeffrey Toobin, author of the book the FX O.J. Simpson series was based on:
“We were shooting something in the courtroom, and he was very lovely and supportive, but he made a comment about Marcia not being the greatest attorney. And he said something similar to Sterling K. Brown, who plays Chris Darden, and we both were like, “Motherf—er, get out of my face.” We have to play this thing, first of all, and I don’t agree with that assessment of her at all. It made me very angry, but a lot of the stuff about Marcia Clark makes me very angry. And I was guilty of it myself. I was 19 when the whole thing happened, and I was decidedly self-interested, wanting to be an actress, and I was not focused on the case in the way that some people were and certainly not on changing my opinion or whatever the narrative about Marcia Clark was. I was letting myself believe what was being told to me by the media. I didn’t question it. So now when I look back at it, I just wonder why people weren’t rallying around her and why she didn’t have a support system from other women saying, “Why are we talking about how short her skirt is and her bad hair?” She told me a story about how some of the court reporters would run after her with some concealer and say, “Just please put a little on.” And she was like, “I do not care about that. There is a man I believe to be guilty, I would like to see justice done.”
J.Lo wanted to clear the record, saying quite early on:
“I’ve always been fascinated by how much more well-behaved we have to be than men. She continuing with, “I got a moniker of being ‘the diva,’ which I never felt I deserved — which I don’t deserve — because I’ve always been a hard worker, on time, doing what I’m supposed to do, and getting that label because you reach a certain amount of success…”
All in all, it was a great – and necessary – talk. Head over to THR to read the conversation in full, and hats off to the women who are slowly, but surely, changing the industry for the next generation of actresses.
SOURCE: THR | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty, Instagram